DNC moves to give South Carolina first primary spot in 2024

The rule-making arm of the Democrat National Committee has voted to give South Carolina the first primary spot in 2024 after problems in Iowa delayed the results of the caucus in 2020 for days and in response to President Joe Biden’s urging. 

“Just like my administration, the Democratic Party has worked hard to reflect the diversity of America — but our nominating process does not,” Biden wrote in a letter to the DNC ahead of the vote. “For fifty years, the first month of our presidential nominating process has been a treasured part of our democratic process, but it is time to update the process for the 21st century. I am committed to working with the DNC to get this done.”

Part of Biden’s reasoning is to put more diverse states at the front of the primary calendar. If the new calendar is adopted, Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia, and Michigan will all vote in February after South Carolina.

Decision not final

In addition, South Carolina was the state that pushed Biden to the forefront in the 2020 primary when there did not seem to be a clear frontrunner early on.

The decision is not yet final and must be voted on by the entire DNC before it is adopted.

Republicans are not looking to make any moves, which would mean different primary days for each party in those states with Republicans still voting first in Iowa.

Not all Democrats agreed with the idea of changing the order of primaries–especially those in Iowa.

Iowa protests

“Small rural states like Iowa must have a voice in our Presidential nominating process. Democrats cannot forget about entire groups of voters in the heart of the midwest without doing significant damage to the party for a generation,” Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Ross Wilburn wrote in a statement.

Part of the reason for making Iowa first is because it is a smaller state that might get lost in the shuffle of the primary process if it didn’t have a special position.

The caucus process is different from most other states as well.

Where Iowa used to be seen as a bellwether for the eventual nominee, however, most recent contests have not ended up electing the winner of the caucuses.